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Studies Link Energy Drinks To Risky Behavior; University Bans Sales On Campus

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- An east coast university has decided to ban the sale of energy drinks on campus after studies linked the caffeinated beverages to high-risk sexual activity, and alcohol abuse.

Dr. Kathleen Miller, a Senior Researcher at the University of Buffalo says it starts with those who are predisposed to participate in high-risk behavior.

"There's a pretty clearly established link between energy drinks and a wide array of behaviors that's unprotected sex, interpersonal aggression, recreational use of drugs, heavy drinking, and so on," Miller said.

The findings establish a correlation, but Miller believes there is very likely a causal relationship when alcohol is added to the equation.

"When you drink alcohol with your energy drinks, it promotes heavier drinking, and masks some of the symptoms, and it may reduce some of the strategies we normally use to protect ourselves when we know we're drunk," Miller said.

She says the way people consume those drinks makes them different from something like a big cup of coffee, because they are more likely to be 'chugged,' or consumed quickly.

About one in three college aged young people polled admit to mixing alcohol with an energy drink during the past year.

Vermont's Middlebury College decided to ban energy drink sales on campus.

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